This one time at iVillage Band Camp

I don’t know about your high school, but at mine? The band kids were the WILDEST. And they were totally under the radar so they could like party like no ones business and never get a rep.

Buttheads.

Meanwhile I had one crazy bad junior high experience and was branded a slut for ages.

But I don’t need to go on Jerry Springer to get over it, I mean it was a hundred billion years ago. But that epithet has stayed with me throughout my life. I have wavered back and forth between Daddy issue inappropriate attention seeking and utter prissiness. Finally I have settled into happily married lady. Doing the challenge on iVillage was indeed out of my comfort zone and indeed there were several assignments that we just flat out skipped.

I mean really, if I can’t even stare in to my husband’s baby blues without laughing (watch here) what are the chances of us needed a safety word for jiminy’s sake?

I’ll tell ya…NONE.

And that’s okay. We are not those people. If you are, hey, that’s okay too! But as for me and my house just…no.

The challenge is over now but I think we will be keeping the focus on our couple relationship going. This was good for us, really good. Even if I did get the giggles. A LOT.

One thing is for certain, Zach and I need our own show.

 

You can watch the videos right here! Stephanie Dulli on iVillage

p.s. week three is my favorite.

 

 

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And then an angel appeared via twitter.

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I was at the end of my rope. Our precious non-sleeping-who-once-was-a-great-sleeper Huckleberry was really, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally not sleeping. No more naps. Refusing to go down until 9 or 10 and waking almost every single hour. I was losing it, people of blogland. Losing it. Not only that  but it was getting harder and harder to get him down every time he woke up and he had clearly designated 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. as time to party hard.

Did I mention I was losing it? There was one night where Huck’s cries physically hurt me I was so tired. Not only was I (am I) so exhausted that I could barely function but I was complaining. A lot. So much so that a sleep expert went to my profile and hunted down my email and emailed me. An Angel. She explained she had been following my tweets over the last (months) couple of days and asked if she could help me. I couldn’t type YES fast enough.

I checked her out of course. One doesn’t just accept random strangers telling one what to do with one’s precious Huckleberry, know what I mean?

We’re still in the trenches, I am not going to lie…but we are a few days in and guess what? He napped. He slept. He woke up…and went back to sleep. Progress people. It’s being made.

And now…to get ME to sleep. Maybe she has some advice for me.

On raising white boys in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder.

It’s been a month and I am still rage filled whenever this young man’s, tracked down and slaughtered, name is mentioned. So, that’s about twenty thousand times a day. I simply can’t understand how this went down and how now the police, media and apparently the fact that George Zimmerman has two African American friends negates that despite the police’s admonition to stay put he felt it was his place to pursue, corner and kill this young man.

A young man guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Suspended from school for weed residue in his bag? IRRELEVANT. What is relevant is that George Zimmerman followed this child in his car found him and killed him. You know the facts of course…you don’t need me to tell you. The claims that Zimmerman was struck first is a. his word only as Trayvon cannot tell his side and b. I guaranfuckingtee you that if someone was cornering me, chasing me down, and had a gun I would fight tooth and nail. Zimmerman has a broken nose. Poor baby. Trayvon is dead.

And we all know it was the racist with the gun and not the hoodie that killed him.

I don’t write much on current events, but this…this is under my skin. Literally. I read a wonderful post by Powermommy Nation on raising her black teenage boys in this aftermath. The next day my friend and friend and fellow iVoice DumbMom wrote this about her dudes. And I knew, I knew finally what it was that I wanted to write.

They struggle to raise black boys in the midst of this and more. I myself am raising near see through white boys. Boys who if they were seen walking through that gated community in the evening wearing a hoodie wouldn’t be given a second thought. I don’t have to arm them against ‘walking while black’, ‘driving while black’ or any of the like. Things that would never occur to me. Driving while white? Possibly a problem only in South Central. That being said, I got lost once in deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep LA and you know what happened? I got helped. I wasn’t shot at. I wasn’t raped. I was helped.

I don’t need to ready my sons to prevent them from being Trayvon. The mere chance of their skin color prevents that. (and believe me, as the daughter of a murdered 24 year old father by an African American man I do know that danger is all around us. People are killed, black or white but I am talking about this case.) I can, however, prevent them from being George Zimmerman.

As it stands now my three year old son sees no color distinction. Skin color is to eye color is to hair color. He has blue eyes, his best friend has brown eyes, a little girl he has a crush on in school has dark black hair and caramel skin. No big deal to him. No big deal to them either because they haven’t been taught that differences are bad. My son and all his friends haven’t been taught hatred. They are the lucky ones. At this point in their lives, on either side of the line they aren’t being taught to hate and they aren’t being taught that they are hated.

And at the least, my kids won’t be taught that particular lesson.To hate. I am up for the task for being on guard and knocking those ideas down when they rear their ugly head. Because they will. My boys will not hear it from me, but the chances of them hearing it from someone somewhere are damn good. I resolve not to shirk from the tough talks. I won’t hide from tackling the tough stuff. The why. The history.

As Amanda and Uneeka arm their boys to head out into the world I will also arm my boys. Differently, but arm them the same. Arm them with open hearts, open minds, and most importantly information and experiences. Hopefully between their boys, my boys and yours stories like Trayvon Martin’s will be a thing of the past.

Let’s not forget the girls. Make sure we arm the girls, for they are the ones who will be mothers like me, like you, like Amanda, like Uneeka, who raise the boys.

 

 

And a special PS to the media- the more you try to smear the name of the victim the worse Zimmerman looks. Well done there.

This place is a zoo.

On Friday it was summer-like here. 75 degrees and sunny, I felt completely at home…this was Los Angeles weather! There was nothing to be done but go to the Zoo. Taking my new camera. Did I tell you? Wandering around Target a couple weeks ago and the just below DSLR Canon was on crazy sale, after some research and camera forum investigation I quickly traded up. As soon as I can master this one, then and only then, will I spend the big bucks for a real DSLR. And I am staunch in the Canon Camp.

But I digress! We headed out to the National Zoo and had SO much fun! I was so excited to show Huckleberry the giraffes. Sadly, they gave the giraffes away! Huckleberry? Not amused.
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One lovely Zoo employee told us they were hoping to get them back, which is good because the Hucklebaby loves him some geeraffs.

Luckily for me they hadn’t recklessly tossed the Big Cats aside…can you IMAGINE?

I want to snuggle him but I don’t think it would be wise.
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How beautiful is she?
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Boss compared his paws to a tiger’s and decided that the tiger was a grown up since tiger paws are bigger than three year old boy paws. He’s a wise one, that Boss.
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My Tigers were too busy sleeping to give me a good look. I love the tigers the best. I swoon for tigers.
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I was busy singing “what do Tigers dream of when they take a little tiger snooze” Hangover style when we happened upon a new addition to the zoo. The O line. It’s this crazy line that lets the orangutan’s just cruise around the zoo. Hanging out…and possibly pooping on the people.
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It’s a tough life.
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There was nothing to do but teach Boss the words to “I Wanna Be Like You”
Let’s hope that replaces “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” I am not sure who taught him that song…but when I find out-POW right to the moon.

And then we left the house. Without the kids.

Don’t fret. The small tyrant and the tiny non-sleeper were well cared for by Ma & Bob-Bob. No sooner had Ma spoke the words “maybe you’d like to go to a movie or something this evening, we will babysit” than Zach and I were out the door.
I wore a dress. And make up. And PERFUME. And my new glasses. New glasses or contacts are always such a joy. I find myself amazed at how clear each leaf is on the trees or each blade of grass.

It was like the old days. Back in the day Zach and I would always head out for a nosh, a movie and then wrap it up with a relaxing coffee slash Barnes and Noble magazine fest. That’s just what we did, I love this local shopping area near us which has a beautiful pond with boats and fountains. Even though it’s right off the freeway it has a bit of the Santa Monica 3 rd street feel.

We bought a metric ton of popcorn and candy and settled into see Jeff Who Lives at Home. It was so good! I highly recommend it. Afterwards we grabbed a our lattes and wandered around Barnes and Noble collecting things, including a Green Day book for the Boss.

We hurried home to see the babies. Oh how I loved being out just me and the hubby, but I missed my little ones.  Their smiles and hugs are the best. Even better than a handful of popcorn mixed with M&M’s. And that’s damn good.

Anxiously waiting for Ma to offer to babysit again!

Boom. I got served.

Yesterday was not a stellar mommy day for me. The babes are ganging up and alternately partying all night long. I am tired and stressed and stir crazy in a home that is not mine. I start a million projects and cannot finish a one.

A half done big boy swing sits on the back deck waiting to be hung from the tree. An Ikea Rast hack waits to be poly’d and the knobs put on. And one half of our bedroom has had the pin holes filled from the many, many, many Jenny McCarthy and Heather Locklear posters that decorated them back when TOTT was a teen.

(Good Lord, someday my babes will want girly posters won’t they?)

I was over tired and over cranky. And shall we say I am back in the “I can get pregnant” game. knowwhatImeandontwearwhitejeans? I suggested the playground. The Boss said no. I suggested the soccer place. The Boss said no. I said FINE. I had to return some stuff at the mall and thanks to Pinterest I recently learned that Payless of all places had $19 knock offs of the $300 JCrew wedges I’ve been obsessing over. Plus there is Starbucks and a playcenter at the mall. So off we went.

The Boss insisted on wearing his new flip flops assuring me he could keep them on. He couldn’t. Yes, my child was the white trash kid running around the mall barefoot while his exasperated mother, near tears, chased after him pushing a sleeping baby in a double stroller roughly the size of an RV. It corners just as well. I grabbed a pair of sandals for him and he promised to wear them.

We stopped for Starbucks.

Me: MAX. Shoes on.

Max: Shoes OFF!

Me: Max! SHOES ON!

Max: Compamise?

He stood there smiling at me wearing one shoe.

Whatever. You can’t wear shoes at the play place anyway. He ran around like a maniac playing with various children, his laughter and happy shrieks worth every antibacterial wipe I would obviously attack him with as soon as he was done. After he was ready he – get this- asked for a PRETZEL and we ended up at Auntie Anne’s. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude.

We came home, curled up with a little Nemo and I resigned myself to just trying not to be too cranky. He was such a good boy today and I was such a crab. I hate myself on days like that. I did everything I was supposed to do. I fed him and bathed him. He was so adorable post shower jumping on the bed and singing but I kept saying Max! Get over here, put on your pajamas. Teeth were brushed, books were read, and we lay cuddled in bed together. I told him how much I loved him and asked him what his favorite part of the day today was, certain it would be the super special ‘coffee’ that they make him at Starbucks that is only for boys who can count to ten, know their ABC’s and are the best big brother ever (also known as a kids hot vanilla milk) or playing with the kids at the play place.

He tossed a soft and chubby arm around my neck and said when I was jumping. At the play place? I asked. No, on the bed.he said  I love bouncing on the bed.

His favorite part of the whole day and there I was yelling at him to stop it, knock it off,  calm down, STOP JUMPING.

I snuggled him back and promised him that there would be lots of bouncing tomorrow. That I would finish that dang big boy swing. He cuddled closer and fell asleep and I lay there going over my failures today. Nothing major, small things.  Tomorrow will be better I tell myself.

So here’s hoping. And if worse comes to worse I am putting on Green Day and letting him jump on the bed.

Joey Lawerence said it best… WHOA.

I have a confession. The Boss would never sleep with me as a tiny one. He was too excited I was there and would just wiggle and play all night long. Now at three and a half he says he can’t fall asleep without me and most nights I just cuddle up next to him listening to him breathe until his breath deepens and little snores begin.

It’s kind of a pain but also a great pleasure.

The Boss’s bed is amazingly comfortable. His room is dark and the perfect temperature and every once in a while I not only fall asleep but I just flat out pass out into the sleep of the dead. There is no waking me.

And so it was the other night that we slept, forehead to forehead sharing oxygen all night (saving for intermittent Huckleberry sessions) until the sun slowly crept behind the crevice left between the black out curtains.

I awoke from a dream slowly, pondering…what the hell did that mean? I was watching someone make pretzels, the fancy way they do at Auntie Anne’s where they roll the dough out twisting it in the air and viola! it lands on the counter in pretzel shape.

I lay there thinking about what an odd dream that was and remembering wandering along Colorado Blvd back in the day and getting pretzels at one in the morning before heading home. I loved living in Pasadena.

The Boss began to rouse, and like he frequently does, he began chattering- bringing him dream life into his waking life.

“MOMMY!” he said “Mommy! Don’t forget the pretzels! The pretzels Mommy!”

 

WHOA.

in which you see my un-finished headboard and perhaps TMI.

{Rome is so romantic}

Oh yeah. What is it about talking about s-e-x that gives me the 8th grade boy giggles? I don’t talk about it at all usually. A very early bad experience and an undeserved and long standing reputation has made me pretty unwilling to share. And really…I am not the gal who puts it all out there on the internet. I read and admire several women who are much more honest and open than I am. I  certainly don’t judge them…but when it comes to my life I am not a big sharer.

Except…except iVillage asked if the handsome husband and I would participate in the Better Sex Better Relationship challenge, and let’s be honest…since the kiddos, postpartum anxiety and y’know economic hardships and living at The American Dream ye olde romantic life has suffered a bit. It’s not that I don’t think he’s hot. It’s not that he doesn’t think I am hot (which boggles my mind because all I see it wobbly tummy, dark circles under the eyes etc where all he sees is the good stuff) so I said to him “wanna do this?” and he said “ummm YES!”

Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, and every other holiday my man.

So, we started the challenge. And then we had to make a video. No, not THAT kind of video. One where we *giggle* talk about our relationship. If you’re looking for down and dirty details, you’ll be dissapointed. But if you want to see how we interact and make each other laugh, then this is the video for you!

I’m trying to convince him we should co-vlog on the regular.

(one of these days I will finish the upholstery tacks along the headboard. It looks so unfinished. Also, paint those horrible green walls. Ugh.)

Watch and giggle VIDEO

More out than in.

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This weekend was Boss’ last soccer practice. How did that happen? I swear it went so fast. (remind me of that in years to come when I’m like oh another soccer game. ugh) Afterwards we went to a very kid friendly lunch at Red Robin. Gone are the days of leisurely Saturday brunches with poached eggs and mimosas by the beach and bring on the bottomless fries and grilled cheese.

It may be less glamorous, but it more joy filled that’s for sure.

The day started out crazy rainy and cold and then bloomed into a lovely Spring-fever inducing day.
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Then…and most importantly. This guy, our adorable non-sleeping Huckleberry is officially 9 months old.
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He has now been out longer than he was in and boy howdy has it been a heck of a ride. He is sweeter than sugar and talking up a storm. He wields mama, dada, bob-bob and uga (again) with the power of Greyskull and knows how to melt hearts with a hey dada when he really wants something.

Too bad he doesn’t like to sleep. Because I sure do. And I miss it ever so much.

What I wore: Me: Coach sunglasses via TJMaxx, Old Navy trench, AE Jeggings, Jessica Simpon boot socks (my soul dies a little every time I buy something with her stamp on it. Why must her shoes be so cute?) Gap fake wellies, Cynthia Rowley bag. Huckleberry: Osh Kosh Sweater, cassette tape screened onsie that TOTT made, too bad you can’t see it. No idea on the jeans, and Children’s place shoes. Boss: HIGH FASHION! Yeah. Adidas pants and shoes, no idea on the polo, and Children’s Place sweatshirt.

linking to Stepping out Saturday